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UAE Denies Trying to Meddle in 2016 US Election


FILE - Anwar Gargash, UAE foreign minister, is pictured talking to reporters in Dubai, June 24, 2017.

The United Arab Emirates said Tuesday that it did not try to influence the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted the denial following U.S. news reports that Donald Trump Jr. met with Saudi and UAE envoys in 2016.

"Attention needs to be paid to facts over innuendo and speculation. The UAE made no effort to influence the 2016 U.S. election," Gargash wrote. "Like other governments friendly to the U.S., UAE officials had contact with staff and advisers in both 2016 presidential campaigns to inform and be informed of the candidates' foreign policy positions."

The New York Times reported last week that Trump Jr. held a meeting that included representatives from the UAE and Saudi Arabia. An emissary reportedly told the younger Trump that the heads of both Gulf states were eager to help his father win the White House.

Trump Jr.'s lawyers have said nothing came out of the meeting, which, according to the Times, may show that other countries besides Russia may have interfered or tried to meddle in the 2016 election in Trump's favor.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians and whether President Trump has tried to obstruct justice in the probe. Moscow and the Trump campaign have denied the charges. Trump has called the investigation an expensive witch hunt.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to correct the title of UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash.